Friday, September 28, 2012

Fiction Friday: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen, is a book I recently finished.  It was an interesting, easy read.  It's a story of Willa, who is a descendant of the wealthy town foundering family, who then lost their fortune.  It's a story of Paxton, a currently wealthy woman who went to school with Willa.  And it's a story of their grandmothers, who were best friends at one point, and maybe still are.  It's a little strange and although I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, I did find two quotes in it that hit me:

Happiness is a risk.  If you're not a little scared, then you're not doing it right. (p238)

Fate never promises to tell you everything up front.  You aren't always shown the path in life you're supposed to take.  But, if there was one thing she'd learned in the past few weeks, it was that sometimes, when you're really lucky, you meet someone with a map. (p242)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I am working on, along with the sweater and the baby shower gifts, two quick dish cloths!  It's part of a barter with another family and should be done by the end of the week!  Anyone able to tell me when life will slow down a bit?  :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece is an event that happens every year. Although I never officially participate I do try to spin during it. It occurs at the same time as the Tour de France and the goal is to spin and challenge yourself while watching the race. I don't watch the racing, but I did manage to spin all but one of the days I think. I tried to spin for at least 30 minutes and most days did more than that.

 I finished this grey superwash that I've been working on forever.  Most of it was done prior to this year's event, but I finally got it done!

The left most skein is blue and purple silk that I got as dyed hankies.  They did look like a pile of fibery handkerchiefs, which I took and spun on a little spindle.  Once again, this has been going on forever, and it is now done. 

The middle skein is something I bought back at my first MA sheep and wool (the same year as the grey yarn above).

The skein on the right is a black bunny fibers colorway that I got several years ago as a present from my husband.

Then, since I had finished up so much that I had been working on for a long time I started something kindof new.  I took three colors of different fiber I had gotten while part of the Southern Cross Fibre Club and I am mixing them all up.  I started it during the Tour de Fleece and then, once that was done I didn't touch my wheel for over a month.  I recently sat and spun some more on that and can't wait for it to be done.  That full bobbin is about 2/3 of the total fiber, so I am on the down hill part of this yarn!

Don't forget to check Monday's post and enter the contest!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Pizza Toppings

Ten Favorite Pizza Toppings:

1. Sauce

2. Cheese

3. Pepperoni

4. Ham
5. Pineapple

6. Peppers

7. BBQ chicken

8. Basil

9. Feta

10. Mushrooms

Of course, not all of this on any one pizza....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweater for Lily (and a contest)

I'm almost caught up with everything that happened during my vacation - just a couple more posts - but today I thought I'd tell you what I've been working on lately.  My oldest daughter is now 10 1/2.  She doesn't request many knit projects.  I think this is partly because she also knows how to knit, and partly because she is just content with what she has.  At the end of the summer she asked if I could use the yarn she had chosen at two different festivals and make her a sweater.

Since these two skeins were each a pair of adult socks worth of yarn  I didn't think there would be enough.  Luckily I had other sock yarn that would coordinate in color. 

I started about August 21st.  I have now finished the body and most of one sleeve.  Once the sleeves are done I will still need to do the collar and the button (zipper?) band.  There might be some patch pockets - or there might not.  She was hoping it would be done earlier this month - it obviously wasn't.  I am working on it, but I also know 5 pregnant women  - and I usually knit or crochet something for baby showers (3 of the 5 are before the end of Nov). 

So, here's the contest.  When do you think her sweater will be done.  The person with the closet guess (completely done - all ends woven in, pockets attached if we choose to add them, zipper sewn or buttons on, etc) will win a prize. It doesn't matter if your guess is before or after the finished time, the winner will just be the one closest.

All guesses must be placed in the comments of this post.  The prize will either be a skein of handspun (if the winner is crafty), or one small project (bulky hat, dishcloth, etc - if the winner is not crafty)

Guesses can be placed here any time this week.  Comments made after Saturday Sept 29th will not be entered into the contest.  Anyone (family/friends/strangers) is welcome to enter. 

There is one other way to enter the contest - if you send someone else here and they mention you when they enter you can have a bonus entry!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fiction Friday: The Blue Castle

I was reading through some of the threads on the Ravelry Forum.  I don't remember if it was the Homeschooling Group or the Simple Living group or the Selfish Knitting Group, but one of them was talking about their favorite books.  Someone mentioned an L.M. Montgomery book I had never read.  I, of course, immediately requested it.  I grew up rereading Anne so many times and loving it.  I also own the Emily series, and several of her other short story books.  The new book was The Blue Castle.

It is about an older women (she 29 and not married) who, due to some new knowledge, decides to not be a door mat to her family any more.  She decides to live life on her terms, and it is a wonderfully cute story.  It is, perhaps, not a surprising thriller, but a fun read.

What authors did you like to read as a kid/teen?

Thursday, September 20, 2012


We went to the local museums.  There are 5 museums surrounding the main city library - normally we go to three of four of them, but during this visit we only went to two of them, and a building of sticks that was on the green between them!

The first museum was the Natural History Museum (normally referred to as the Science Museum. They had a cool castle Lego exhibit going on...

We then walked outside to see the stick structure..

And then we walked back across the street to the Springfield History Museum were we made the kids look at a couple of things before they got to flee to the game room...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stanley Park

Also during our vacation in August we went to Stanley Park in Westfield. The kids played on the playground for a while, and then we had a picnic lunch before going on a little walk....

We were telling the kids that we used to go on dates to this park and walk around. I don't know if they had ever thought about us dating before.
They did enjoy looking at the water and woods and all the animals there. 

We even walked up to the rose garden and walked around. There was a big map of the United States off to the side and the kids had fun running from state to state as I called them off. 

We could hear thunder in the distance and the sky was pretty grey. The kids were starting to freak out, but we walked slowly back to the car and even took some fun family shots on the way. We drove out and it barely started to rain as we got onto the road.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Weekend

Ten things I love to do on the Weekend:

1. Sleep in (at least sometimes!)

2. Help others in the family cook

3. Knit and watch movies

4. Sit on the couch with my sweet husband while we both read

5. Go on Adventures with the family

6. Watch a marathon of movies (LoTR, SW, SG-1, ST - bonus to anyone who recognizes all of those)

7. Go on a bike ride

8. Have all our schoolwork done so I don't have to ruin anyone's weekend!

9. Go to church (especially when I do an assignment that week!)

10. Eat bagels and a chocolate covered cannoli with my sweetie

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bridge of Flowers

As part of our family vacation in August we went on our annual trip to the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. We enjoy going and seeing the different flowers in bloom. Often we go see some of the other stores down the road, and this year we stopped at Mo's Fudge Factor and also had lunch at a little place before heading home.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fiction Friday:Goodbye for Now


I recently read this book by Laurie Frankel.  It is a very strange but interesting book about death and what makes a person.  At the beginning of the book there is a new relationship and a death - but can the programmer boyfriend ease the pain of death?  Is grief helped or hindered by making the process longer?  What happens if a program seems to learn and grow by itself?  Is it alive?   While this is not a book for everyone it was fun to read - death and humor right next to each other throughout the story...

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Back at the beginning of August my husband and I celebrated our 12th anniversary.  We decided to really celebrate and so we left the kids with my parents and drove several hours north.  

After enjoying the ups and downs of the New Hampshire mountains  we made it to our destination.  

Walking into our room I saw that my husband had ordered a surprise for me!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the restaurant that night, sitting right at this window:

Our room was upstairs here, and we even had a nice hot tub in that turret

The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast and then took a walk into town and by the creek before we left...

Thanks to my sweet husband for such a wonderful weekend and happy whirlwind of 12 years.  Many many more to go!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Baby Gift

I almost never sell my knitting.  I usually gift it, I sometimes barter it, but I usually feel that selling it makes it less of a hobby and less fun.  It tends to make my free time stressful.  However, I had a friend attend many baby showers with me and kept commenting that she would love to have me make something for her daughter who was expecting.  She mentioned it early enough that I had plenty of time to think about it, get her opinion on some things, and make it while not being rushed. 

She had asked for a bear and vest....

I had a little extra time though, and really wanted to use the matching yarn to make something quick (and crocheted).  I gave her the option of buying this also, or just what she had asked for.  She snapped it up!

Her daughter just had the baby this past week - hope she and the little boy enjoy these!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Sunday Dinners

Ten Favorite Sunday Dinners

Sunday dinners here are sometimes a bit fancier since there is more time and more helpers available usually, but often they are just what we'd have during the week...

1. Breakfast (Pancakes or Waffles, Eggs, Bacon or Beef Hash)

2. Beef Onion Strudel

3. Mustard Chicken

4. Chicken Potpie

5. Herb Pork Roast

6. Shrimp Scampi

7. Clam Chowder
8. Lasagna

9. Jambalaya

10. Minestrone soup with fresh bread

What sounds good to you?  One of these, or something of your own?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Girl

My husband asked if I would make a gift for a co-worker who had a new daughter.  Of course, he asked in plenty of time and I kept putting it off.  Finally I got this done just a week or so after the baby was born.  It was fun to make a girly bear after all the recent boy ones (and more boy ones coming!)

I'm wondering how many people are still reading this after my long vacation - so the fun way to find out is to have a contest - details to be posted soon!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Fiction Friday: Glamour in Glass

This week's pick is called Glamour in Glass.

This is actually the second book in the series. The first book is called Shades of Milk and Honey.  The author is

Thursday, September 06, 2012

MA sheep and wool

At the end of May we had our traditional family trip to the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Fair....

We saw sheep, we saw dogs herding sheep, we saw cooked sheep, sheep shearing, and lots and lots of yarn.

Some of that yarn came home with us:

The red was chosen by Tomato, the purple by Curly, and the Blue (with hints of green) by Lily.  I chose the pink/brown, and both things of fiber.  My sweet husband was very proud that he walked away with nothing - at least nothing fibery.  We each got a mug and he picked out a pitcher and some dipping bowls at a pottery booth.  We didn't take pictures of them, but we do love them! 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Baby Shower during Blog silence

During the early part of my blog vacation I attended a baby shower.  This was a gift for the new little boy.  Complete with buttons on the shoulder so it should go on and off easily.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ten on Tuesday:September

Ten Things you love about September:

1. Crisp Air

2. Cool Nights and Mornings

3. Warm days still!

4. School starting

5. Fall colors

6. a feeling of new beginnings

7. routine and structure

8. seeing good friends again

9. early bedtimes (for the kids)

10. starting to get in mood for the holidays (slowly)

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Ok, Summer vacation is now officially over.  As my son keeps telling me, September 1 is when all the things he loves starts again.  As we re-enter our normal schedule and routines I'll be blogging again and letting you all know what has happened since the middle of May, and what I'm busy with now!  Something for you all to look forward to next week....